Deadly Pool Drains
Winter is almost coming to a close and that means spring will be in force, often going up to summer temperatures. It goes without saying that many times that also means that home and local pools will be used in order to beat the hotter temperatures. While this certainly represents a favorite past time, many people may not be aware that pool drains can also bear deadly consequences as well.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, circulation/suction entrapments, or simply drains, in spas, pools, and whirlpool bathtubs can lead to some very unfortunate circumstances. As noted by the report, a study of 106 victims of circulation entrapments were highlighted as followed:
- Of the 11% fatalities (which is shown by 12 victims), 11 involved children, ages 6 – 17 years of age, while 1 case involved an adult, aged 48 years.
- Of the 84% injuries (represented by 89 victims) 69 involved children 2 – 15 years, and 20 involved adults, 21 – 55 years.
- Only 5 victims or 5% of all entrapments involved incidents were no injury was sustained. Represented by 4 children, aged 5 – 13 years, and 1 adult, aged 50 years.
- The majority of entrapment victims involved individuals who were young than 18 years, represented by 84 victims, or 79% of all accounted for.
In addition, the research also highlights that specific products and types were also reported. For example, 48% were associated with a pool, 34% with a spa, and 18% with a whirlpool bathtub. Moreover, 47% of entrapments occurred within a residential setting, 42% in public settings, and 11% was unknown, or unaccounted.
The research also underlines the type of entrapment type and the kind of hazard scenario that took place. For example, 37% were body entrapments, 31% were limb entrapments, 15% were mechanical entrapments, 14% were hair entrapments, and 2% were evisceration/disembowelment entrapments. Moreover, in terms of the overall scenario, 34% of individuals were trapped by suction, 30% had issues involving broken, damaged, or disengaged outlet covers, 14% were caught on an outlet cover, and 21% did not provide sufficient enough details.
As one can imagine, the gruesome accounts of some of these cases speak about the dangers of entrapments and the potential for injuries, and even for death to occur. The research also works to showcase that children are especially at risk for sustaining more serious injuries or death as a result.
To this extent, it should be noted that the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007 was enacted in order to prevent the tragic dangers of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools. It U.S. law, that all pools and spas be fitted with ANSI/ASME A112 19.8 performance standard, or ANSI/APSP -16 2011 drain covers in order to ensure that these kind of issues do not take place and that safety is the number one priority.
For parents, pools and spa represents a fun activity that can be shared by the whole family, especially during warmer months. However, one should also be careful to consider the very serious issue of entrapments.
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